A birthday kiss

By gregebersole

February 15, 2011

Category: Travel

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Last Saturday evening, I went to a birthday party for Wilber Quintero Pescador. In this photo, he gets a birthday kiss from Lechta Duran. Wilber recently opened a hostal in Cali, not too far from my home. He teaches salsa, and I took lessons from him for a couple of weeks. He’s a good teacher and had a partner for me to dance with during each lesson. It was usually Vicky, and she was usually pretty patient with me. Sometimes, I’m slow to catch on to a new routine. Wilber is also a great dancer. He can dance both LA style (en linea) and Cali style. He danced a lot at his party and put on a good show.

Several months ago, I took lessons at the El Manicero dance studio. I learned a lot of fast steps and lost some weight, but I didn’t feel that I was learning to dance like they did in the clubs here. When I would go to Tin Tin Deo, hardly anyone was doing what we did in class. Most of the couples were dancing more simply, not using all the fancy steps we were doing. They were just dancing smoothly and having fun. We also learned a few basic steps of dances I would never use in Cali, such as pasa doble and fox trot. Eventually, I also got tired of having so many different dance partners. There were some that I clicked with and it was fun to dance with them. Others tried to lead me or were slow and not as advanced. My teacher would often get impatient with some in the class and yell at them or single them out for practice in front of the others until they got the routine right. Other times, he would be flirting with the younger women in the class. I really liked the directors of the studio, but eventually I’d had enough of my teacher and stopped going. When I found Wilber, it was so much better.

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